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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

Solutions for End-of-Chapter Questions and Problems: Chapter Eighteen


1.

What are the benefits and costs to an FI of holding large amounts of liquid assets? Why are
Treasury securities considered good examples of liquid assets?

A major benefit to an FI of holding a large amount of liquid assets is that it can offset any
unexpected and large withdrawals without reverting to asset sales or emergency funding. If
assets have to be sold at short notice, FIs may not be able to obtain a fair market value. It is more
prudent to anticipate withdrawals and keep liquid assets to meet the demand. On the other hand,
liquid assets provide lower yields, so the opportunity cost for holding a large amount of liquid
assets is high. FIs taking conservative positions by holding large amounts of liquid assets will
therefore have lower profits.
Treasury securities are considered good examples of liquid assets because they can be converted
into cash quickly with very little loss of value from current market levels.
2.

How is an FIs liability and liquidity risk management problem related to the maturity of its
assets relative to its liabilities?

For most FIs, the maturity of assets is greater than the maturity of liabilities. As the difference in
the average maturity between the assets and liabilities increases, liquidity risk increases. In the
event that liabilities begin to leave the FI or are not reinvested by investors at maturity, the FI
may need to liquidate some of its assets at fire-sale prices. These prices would tend to deviate
further from their market value as the maturity of the assets increase. Thus, the FI may sustain
larger losses.
3.

Consider the assets (in millions) of two banks, A and B. Both banks are funded by $120
million in deposits and $20 million in equity. Which bank has a stronger liquidity position?
Which bank probably has a higher profit?
Bank A Asset
Cash
$10
Treasury securities
40
Commercial loans
90
Total assets
$140

Bank B Assets
Cash
Consumer loans
Commercial loans
Total assets

$20
30
90
$140

Bank A is more liquid because it has more liquid assets than Bank B, although it has less cash.
Bank B probably earns a higher profit because the return on consumer loans should be greater
than the return on Treasury securities. However, comparing the loan portfolios is difficult
because it is impossible to evaluate the credit risk contained in each portfolio using just the
information provided.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

4.

What concerns motivate regulators to require DIs to hold minimum amounts of liquid
assets?

Regulators prefer DIs to hold more liquid assets because this ensures that they are able to
withstand unexpected and sudden withdrawals. In addition, regulators are able to conduct
monetary policy by influencing the money supply through liquid assets held by DIs. Finally,
reserves held at the Fed by financial institutions also are a source of funds to regulators, since
they pay little interest on these deposits.
5.

How do liquid asset reserve requirements enhance the implementation of monetary policy?
How are reserve requirements a tax on DIs?

In the case of DIs, reserve requirements on demand deposits allow regulators to increase or
decrease the money supply in an economy. The reserve requirement against deposits limits the
ability of DIs to expand lending activity. Further, reserves represent a form of tax that regulators
can impose on DIs. By raising the reserve requirements, regulators cause DIs to transfer more
balances into non-earning assets. This tax effect is even larger in cases where inflation is
stronger.
6.

Rank these financial assets according to their liquidity: cash, corporate bonds, NYSEtraded stocks, and T-bills.

The liquidity ranking from most liquid to least liquid would be cash, T-bills, NYSE-traded
stocks, and corporate bonds.
7.

Define the reserve computation period, the reserve maintenance period, and the lagged
reserve accounting system.

The reserve computation period is a two-week period beginning on a Tuesday and ending on a
Monday over which the required reserves are calculated. The actual reserve calculation is
accomplished by multiplying the average daily net transaction accounts balance over this 14-day
period times the required reserve ratio. The exact amount of this reserve calculation is not known
with certainty until the end of the computation period.
The reserve maintenance period is the 14-day period over which the average level of reserves
must equal or exceed the required reserve target.
The lagged reserve accounting system occurs when the reserve maintenance period begins after
the reserve computation period is completed. As long as these two periods do not overlap, the DI
should have little uncertainty regarding the amount of reserves necessary to be in compliance
with regulatory guidelines.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

8.

City Bank has estimated that its average daily net transaction accounts deposit balance over
the recent 14-day reserve computation period was $225 million. The average daily balance
with the Fed over the 14-day maintenance period was $9 million, and the average daily
balance of vault cash over the two-week computation period was $7.5 million.
a. Under the rules effective in 2012, what is the amount of average daily reserves required
to be held during the reserve maintenance period for these net transaction accounts
balances?

Reserve requirements = (0 x $11.5m) + ($71.0m - $11.5m)(0.03) + ($225m - $71.0m) (0.10)


= 0 + $1.785m + $15.40m = $17.185 million
After subtracting the average daily balance of vault cash of $7.5 million, the bank needs to
maintain a daily average of $9.685 million ($17.185 million - $7.5 million) during the
maintenance period.
b. What is the average daily balance of reserves held by the bank over the maintenance
period? By what amount were the average reserves held higher or lower than the
required reserves?
The average daily balance over the maintenance period was $9 million. Therefore, average
reserves held were short $0.685 million.
c. If the bank had transferred $20 million of its deposits every Friday over the two-week
computation period to one of its offshore facilities, what would be the revised average
daily reserve requirement?
For the 14-day period, the sum of its daily average is = $225m x 14 = $3,150m. If $20 million is
transferred on Friday, the total reduction is $120 million over two weekends ($20m x 3 days x 2
weekends), and the total 14-day balance is $3,030m. The average daily deposits will be
$216.4286 million.
Reserve requirements = (0 x $11.5m) + ($71.0m - $11.5m)(0.03) + ($216.4286m - $71.0m)
(0.10) = 0 + $1.785m + $14.643m = $16.428 million. City Bank needs to maintain average
reserves of $8.928 million ($16.428 million - $7.5 million) during the maintenance period. Since
it had $9 million of reserves, extra reserves of $0.072m per day can be carried forward to the
next reserve maintenance period.
9.

Assume that the 14-day reserve computation period for problem (8) above extended from
May 18 through May 31.
a. What is the corresponding reserve maintenance period under the rules effective in
2012?

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

The reserve maintenance period would extend from June 17 through June 30. The period begins
30 days after the beginning of the reserve computation period. This makes it easier for bank
managers to meet their reserve requirements. By beginning two weeks and two days after the end
of the computation period, managers can more easily make up for any errors in their forecast of
reserve requirements.
b. Given your answers to parts (a) and (b) of problem (8), what would the average
required reserves need to be for the maintenance period for the bank to be in reserve
compliance?
The average required reserves necessary to be in compliance is $9.685 million and they could be
as low as $8.998m ($9.685m - $17.185m(0.04)) or as high as $10.372m ($9.685m +
$17.185m(0.04)).
10.

The average daily net transaction accounts deposit balance of a local bank during the most
recent reserve computation period is $325 million. The amount of average daily reserves at
the Fed during the reserve maintenance period is $24.60 million, and the average daily
vault cash corresponding to the maintenance period is $4.3 million.
a. What is the average daily reserve balance required to be held by the bank during the
maintenance period?

Reserve requirements = (0 x $11.5m) + ($71.0m - $11.5m)(0.03) + ($325m - $71.0m) (0.10) = 0


+ $1.785m + $25.400m = $27.185 million
After subtracting the average daily balance of vault cash of $4.3 million, the bank needs to
maintain a target daily average of $22.885million ($27.185 million - $4.3 million) during the
maintenance period.
b. Is the bank in compliance with the reserve requirements?
Yes. The bank has average reserves of $24.6 million. This amount exceeds the required amount
by $1.715 million.
c. What amount of reserves can be carried over to the next maintenance period either as
excess or shortfall?
A maximum of 4 percent of the gross required reserves can be carried over to the next
maintenance period. Thus, 0.04 x $27.185 million = $1.0894 million can be carried over to the
next maintenance period. The bank has deposited $0.6276 million ($1.715m - $1.0894m) in low
interest paying accounts at the Fed that cannot be counted towards next periods required
reserves.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

d. If the local bank has an opportunity cost of 6 percent and deposits at the Fed pay 0.5
percent, what is the effect on the income statement from this reserve period?
A total of $0.6276 million has an opportunity cost of no earnings at the 6 percent rate. Thus, the
loss would be $0.6276m(0.060 - 0.005)(14/365) = $1,323.98.
11.

The following net transaction accounts and cash reserves at the Fed have been documented
by a bank for computation of its reserve requirements (in millions) under lagged reserve
accounting.
Monday
Tuesday Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
April
10th
11th
12th
13th
14th
Net transaction
accounts
$200
$300
$250
$280
$260
Reserves at Fed
20
22
21
18
27
Monday
17th

Tuesday
18th

Wednesday
19th

Thursday
20th

Friday
21th

$280
20

$300
35

$270
21

$260
18

$250
28

Monday
24th

Tuesday
25th

Wednesday
26th

Thursday
27th

Friday
28th

$240
19

$230
19

$250
21

$260
19

$270
24

Monday
May
1st
Net transaction
accounts
$200
Reserves at Fed
20

Tuesday
2nd

Wednesday
3rd

Thursday
4th

Friday
5th

$300
22

$250
21

$280
18

$260
27

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

8th

9th

10th

11th

12th

$280
20

$300
35

$270
21

$260
18

$250
27

Monday
15th

Tuesday
16th

Wednesday
17th

Thursday
18th

Friday
19th

$230
35

$250
21

$260
18

$270
28

Net transaction
accounts
Reserves at Fed

Net transaction
accounts
Reserves at Fed

Net transaction
accounts
Reserves at Fed

Net transaction
accounts
Reserves at Fed

$240
20

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

Monday
22th
Net transaction
accounts
Reserves at Fed

$200
19

Tuesday
23th

Wednesday
24th

Thursday
25th

Friday
26th

$300
19

$250
21

$280
19

$260
24

The average vault cash for the computation period has been estimated to be $1 million per day.
a.

What level of average daily reserves is required to be held by the bank during the
maintenance period, May 11 - 24?

Average daily net transaction accounts deposits = $300m + $250m + $280m + $260m + $260m +
$260m + $280m + $300m + $270m + $260m + $250m + $250m + $250m + $240m =
$3,710m/14 = $265m
Reserve requirement = ($11.5m - $0)(0) + ($71.0m $11.5m)(0.03) + ($265m $71.0m)(0.10)
= $0 + $1.785m + $19.400m = $21.185m
b. Is the bank in compliance with the requirements?
The maintenance period begins on Thursday, May 11th.
Average Reserves at Fed = $18m + $27m + $27m + $27m + $20m + $35m + $21m + $18m +
$28m + $28m + $28m + $19m + $19m + $21m = $336m/14 = $24m.
Average reserves maintained = $24m + $1m = $25m
Excess over required reserves = $25m - $21.185m = $3.815m
c. What amount of required reserves can be carried over to the following computation period?
Excess that can be carried over = 0.04 x $21.185 million = $0.8474 million.
d. If the average cost of funds to the bank is 8 percent per year and deposits at the Fed pay
0.5 percent, what is the effect on the income statement for this bank for this reserve
period?
Loss = (3.815m - 0.8474m) x (0.080 - 0.005)(14/365) = $8,536.93.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

12.

In July of 1998 the lagged reserve accounting (LRA) system replaced a contemporaneous
reserve accounting (CRA) system as the method of reserve calculation for DIs.
a. Contrast a contemporaneous reserve accounting (CRA) system with a lagged reserve
accounting (LRA) system.

Under LRA, the DI holds reserves against the amount of deposits that had been in the DI 30 days
prior. The DI knows its required reserves on every day of the reserve maintenance period. Since
reserve requirements are stated in the form of average daily balances, the DI can adjust its
reserves over the maintenance period to exactly equal the average reserve requirement. Under
CRA, the two-week reserve maintenance period for meeting the reserve target began only two
days after the start of the computation period. Thus, CRA resulted in only a two-day window
during which required reserves were know with certainty.
b. Under which accounting system, CRA or LRA, are DI reserves higher? Why?
Ceteris paribus, one would expect reserves to be higher under the CRA than under the LRA,
because under the LRA the DI knows its reserve requirement exactly on every day of the reserve
maintenance period. There is no need for the DI to hold excess reserves as a cushion against an
unforeseen increase in reserve requirements. DIs are able to keep their reserves to the minimum
required level. Under CRA, the DI does not know its reserve requirement until the last two days
of the reserve maintenance period. Since those are the days during which Fed fund rates are most
volatile, DIs attempt to avoid large reserve shortages late in the reserve maintenance period.
They will therefore tend to hold excess reserves early in the maintenance period that may be
reduced on the last two days of the settlement week.
c. Under which accounting system, CRA or LRA, is DI uncertainty higher? Why?
Since information is complete during the entire settlement week under LRA, but complete under
CRA only during the last two days of the maintenance period, there is more uncertainty about
reserve requirements under the CRA than under the LRA.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

13.

What is the weekend game? Contrast the DI's ability and incentive to play the weekend
game under LRA as opposed to CRA.

Since Friday balances are carried over the weekend and are counted for Saturday and Sunday,
they carry more weight in the reserve computations. Thus, DIs developed a strategy to send
deposits offshore on Friday, thereby reducing their Friday closing deposit balances. When these
deposits were bought back on Monday, average daily deposit balances were reduced, thereby
decreasing reserve requirements. Although the ratio of weekends to total days in the reserve
computation period is the same under LRA as under CRA (2/7 or 4/14), there is greater
flexibility for DIs to play the weekend game under LRA. That is because the DI has complete
information about reserve requirements on each day of the maintenance period. However,
because of the uncertainty under CRA, there is greater incentive for DIs to play the weekend
game under CRA than under LRA.
14.

Under CRA, when is the uncertainty about the reserve requirement resolved? Discuss the
feasibility of making large reserve adjustments during this period of complete information.

Under CRA, the uncertainty regarding reserve requirements is resolved on the last two days of
the reserve maintenance period (on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of the 14 day period).
However, since these are also the days of greatest volatility in the Fed funds rate, it could be very
costly for the reserve manager to make large reserve adjustments or corrections during this twoday period. Moreover, since the Fed funds market is comprised of active traders that deal daily
with one another, a large reserve imbalance would lead to abnormal Fed funds transactions and
would be quickly detected and exploited (to the detriment of the original DI) by other DI traders.
15.

What is the relationship between funding cost and funding or withdrawal risk?

Liabilities that have a low cost often have the highest risk of withdrawal. Thus, a DI that chooses
to attract low cost deposits may have high withdrawal risk.
16.

An FI has estimated the following annual costs for its demand deposits: management cost
per account = $140, average account size = $1,500, average number of checks processed
per account per month = 75, cost of clearing a check = $0.10, fees charged to customer per
check = $0.05, and average fee charged per customer per month = $8.
a. What is the implicit interest cost of demand deposits for the FI?
Cost of clearing checks = $0.10 x 75 x 12
Cost of managing each account
Per check fee per account = $0.05 x 75 x 12
Fee received per account = $8 x 12
Total cost per account

= $90.00
= $140.00
= -$45.00
= -$96.00
= $89.00

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

The average (imputed) interest cost of demand deposits = $89.00/1,500 = 5.93 percent.
b. If the FI has to keep an average of 8 percent of demand deposits as required reserves
with the Fed paying no interest, what is the implicit interest cost of demand deposits for
the FI?
If the bank has to keep 8 percent as reserves, its use of funds is limited to 0.92 x $1,500 per
account, or $1,380. The average (imputed) interest cost = $89/$1,380 = 6.45 percent.
c. What should be the per-check fee charged to customers to reduce the implicit interest
costs to 3 percent? Ignore the reserve requirements.
For an average imputed interest cost of 3 percent, the total cost per account = 1,500 x 0.03 = $45.
This means that the total cost per account should be decreased by $44 ($89 - $45) and the percheck fee charged to customers should be increased to $89 ($45 + $44). Thus, the fee per-check
should be raised to $89/(75 x 12) = $0.0989 per check.
17.

A NOW account requires a minimum balance of $750 for interest to be earned at an annual
rate of 4 percent. An account holder has maintained an average balance of $500 for the first
six months and $1,000 for the remaining six months. The account holder writes an average
of 60 checks per month and pays $0.02 per check, although it costs the bank $0.05 to clear
a check.
a. What average return does the account holder earn on the account?

Gross interest return = Explicit interest return + Implicit interest return


Interest earned by account holder ($500 x 0.00 x 6/12) + ($1,000 x 0.04 x 6/12) = $20.00
Implicit fee earned on checks ($0.05-$0.02) x 60 x 12
= $21.60
Average deposit maintained during the year (6/12 x 500) + (6/12 x 1,000)
= $750.00
Average interest earned = $41.60/750 = 5.55 percent
b. What is the average return if the bank lowers the minimum balance to $400?
If the minimum balance requirement is lowered to $400, the account holder earns an extra $500
x 0.04 x 6/12 = $10 in interest. The average interest earned = $51.60/750 = 6.88 percent.
c. What is the average return if the bank pays interest only on the amount in excess of
$400? Assume that the minimum required balance is $400.
If the bank only pays interest on balances in excess of $400, the explicit interest earned = ($100
x 0.04 x 6/12) + ($600 x 0.04 x 6/12) = $2 + $12 = $14. The implicit fee earned on checks =
$21.60, and the average interest earned = $35.60/$750 = 4.75%

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

d. How much should the bank increase its check fee to the account holder to ensure that
the average interest it pays on this account is 5 percent? Assume that the minimum
required balance is $750.
Interest earned (both explicit and implicit) = $750 x 0.05 = $37.50. Fees to be earned through
check clearing = $37.50 - $20 = $17.50. Fee subsidy per check = 17.50/(60 x 12) = $0.0243. So,
the bank should charge $0.05 - $0.0243 = $0.0257 per check.
18.

Rank the following liabilities, with respect, first, to funding risk and second to funding
cost:
Funding Risk
Funding Cost
a. Money market deposit account.
8
4
b. Demand deposits.
11
1
c. Certificates of deposit.
7
5
d. Federal funds.
5
7
e. Bankers acceptances.
3
9
f. Eurodollar deposits.
2
10
g. NOW accounts.
10
2
h. Wholesale CDs.
6
6
i. Passbook savings.
9
3
j. Repos.
4
8
k. Commercial paper.
1
11

The rankings above are not meant to be definitively precise, but are made to illustrate that the
funding cost and the funding risk are inversely related. For example, demand deposits usually are
considered to be the least-cost source of funding, but they also are easily withdrawn from the FI.
On the other hand, repos, wholesale CDs, and fed funds are not liquid during their term, but can
be extremely liquid at maturity if the FI has any kind of financial distress. The cost of each of
these types of funds is directly linked to money market conditions. The contrast between funding
risk and funding cost for several of the liabilities is discussed below:
Demand deposits have low funding costs, but technically have high amounts of funding risk
since they can be withdrawn at any time. However, in practical terms, demand deposits are often
quite stable and may behave like long-term core deposits.
Certificates of deposit have high funding costs (because of reserve requirements and risk
premiums on negotiable CDs), but they have low funding risk since they can be withdrawn only
upon payment of interest penalties.
Federal funds have relatively low funding costs (although these costs are higher than those for
demand deposits) because of their overnight maturity, but they can have high funding risk if the
FI is distressed or not an active participant in the Fed funds market. However, for major money
center banks, the funding risk on Fed funds is quite low.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

Eurodollar deposits have high funding costs because of the default risk premium, but they are
low funding risk. Eurodollar interbank deposits, however, are akin to demand deposits and may
have high funding risks, particularly if the FI is rumored to be in financial distress.
19.

How is the withdrawal risk different for federal funds and repurchase agreements?

Withdrawal risk is lower for repurchase agreements (RPs) because they are collateralized usually
by government securities. Since RPs are collateralized, they require a lower risk premium but
they require time to process because of the need to post collateral. In every other respect, the
transaction of an RP is similar to federal funds.
20.

How does the cash balance, or liquidity, of an FI determine the types of repurchase
agreements into which it will enter?

If the FI has surplus cash, it would buy securities with the understanding that the seller would
repurchase them later. In this case, the repurchase agreement is an asset for the firm that bought
the securities. If an FI is low on cash, it would sell securities for cash with the understanding that
it would repurchase the securities later. Here the repo is a liability.
21.

How does the cost of MMMFs differ from the cost of MMDAs? How is the spread useful
in managing the withdrawal risk of MMDAs?

MMMFs earn rates of return that are directly related to the money market conditions for the
assets held by the funds. MMDAs can be priced to reflect these conditions, but they do not
necessarily need to be priced in this manner. Since the two products compete for investor funds,
FIs can control the rate of withdrawal of funds from the MMDAs by raising or lowering the
explicit interest rate paid to depositors. Allowing the MMDA-MMMF spread to become
increasingly negative will increase the rate of withdrawal from the MMDA accounts.
22.

Why do wholesale CDs have minimal withdrawal risk to the issuing FI?

Wholesale CDs are negotiable instruments that can be sold (discounted) in the secondary market.
Thus, if the initial investor needs funds before the CDs mature, the CDs can be liquidated at
money market rates by the investor without withdrawing the funds from the issuing bank.
23.

What characteristics of fed funds may constrain a DIs ability to use fed funds to expand its
liquidity quickly?

Fed funds are uncollateralized loans. As such, DIs selling fed funds often will limit the amount of
funds they will provide to any one borrowing institution. Further, fed funds do have risk of nonrollover at maturity.

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Chapter 18 - Liability and Liquidity Management

24.

What does a low fed funds rate indicate about the level of DI reserves? Why does the fed
funds rate have higher-than-normal variability around the last two days in the reserve
maintenance period?

A low fed funds rate would indicate low levels of DI borrowing and an ample or at least adequate
supply of reserves among DIs. Whether the general level of the fed funds rate is low or high, the
variability of the rate around the last two days in the reserve maintenance period will accelerate
as DIs attempt to meet the required reserve levels.
25.

What trends have been observed between 1960 and 2012 in regard to liquidity and liability
structures of commercial banks? What changes have occurred in the management of assets
that may cause the measured trends to be overstated?

From Table 18-5, it is clear that commercial banks have reduced their composition of liquid
assets to illiquid assets from 44 percent to 22.67 percent (liquid assets = cash and government
and agency securities). However, this may be overstated because the illiquid assets, such as
commercial and mortgage loans, are significantly different today from prior years because they
can be securitized and sold in the secondary markets. As a result, they are not as illiquid as they
were in the past, which may be one reason why banks held more liquid assets in prior years.
Table 18-6 also shows that there has been a shift away from transaction accounts to time
accounts, CDs, and borrowed funds. Although this reduces withdrawal risk, these funds are more
expensive for commercial banks.
26.

What are the primary methods that insurance companies can use to reduce their exposure to
liquidity risk?

First, insurance companies can reduce their exposure by diversifying the distribution of risk in
the contracts they write. In addition, insurance companies can meet liquidity needs by holding
relatively marketable assets to cover claim payments.

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